On Thursday, the New England Patriots parted ways with Super Bowl champion head coach Bill Belichick, shocking the football world. The Patriots had struggled over the past four seasons, resulting in Belichick and owner Robert Kraft mutually agreeing to part ways after 24 mostly successful seasons. Belichick won six Super Bowls with the Pats, including appearing in the championship nine times. Kraft spoke to the media on Thursday, and when pressed about potentially trading Belichick this offseason, the CEO and owner of the Patriots did not mince words.
Did Robert Kraft consider trading Bill Belichick? "I didn't think it was right for Tom Brady, who gave us 20 years, and I don't think it's right for Bill." Says they earned the right to do what was right for them.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 11, 2024
New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft: Talks Bill Belichick
Kraft quickly put to rest any idea that the Patriots would trade Belichick instead of parting ways, saying, “I didn’t think it was right for Tom Brady, who gave us 20 years, and I don’t think it’s right for Bill. They were both the best at their professions, and we were lucky to have them together for two decades.”
The Patriots also let former three-time MVP quarterback Tom Brady leave New England instead of trading him. He chooses the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winning the Super Bowl during his first season with his new club. Brady and Belichick created the greatest head coach and quarterback duo ever, winning six Super Bowls.
Kraft continued, “What’s gone on here the last 3-4 years isn’t what we want. We have a responsibility to do what we can to fix it.”
The Patriots last won a playoff game in 2018, the second to last year with Brady at the helm. They have finished third or worst in the AFC East in three of the last four seasons.
Bill Belichick: Storied Career with Pats
Belichick spent a remarkable 24 seasons with the New England Patriots. He finished his tenure with a 266-121 record while patrolling the sidelines in New England. Belichick won six Super Bowls with the AFC East club, earning AP NFL Coach of the Year three times and a spot on the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.
Belichick holds the title for most Super Bowl wins (8), most Super Bowl appearances (12), most playoff wins as a head coach (31), and most divisional championships as a head coach (17), among other records. Belichick won all six of his Super Bowls as a head coach with Tom Brady at quarterback. The three-time All-Pro won three MVPs playing under Belichick. However, Brady won a Super Bowl outside New England, while Belichick posted a 29-38 record in the post-Brady era.